I have loved Northwest Arkansas (NWA) since my first work-related visit to Bentonville in 2015. Since then, we’ve visited NWA several times for leisure and adventure, and it never disappoints. The scenery is bountiful with lush, rolling hills, razor-sharp mountainous terrain and untapped natural resources. Located in the Upper-South Ozark Mountain region, NWA is nestled in the largest mountainous region in between the Rocky and Appalachian Mountain ranges. There is a very good reason why Arkansas is referred to as “The Natural State”.
In September we attended a wedding near Fayetteville, Arkansas, and that special trip provided a great opportunity to spend a long weekend away from the city, immersed in nature. After finding the perfect Airbnb (an amazing micro-cabin overlooking Lost Valley) we excitedly planned out several excursions to nearby natural wonders.
Located on the property are cattle and horses. These two walked right up to us to say hello.
Cattle graze on a distant hillside. Photographed at 200mm.
Pictured Above: Matt on Hawksbill Crag (left), trekking along the Lost Valley Trailhead (right).
A popular place of interest in Ponca is Whitaker Point, which overlooks Whitaker Creek. The drive alone to the trail access was incredibly steep; it was very slow and cautious driving with our sedan to reach the top. Rated as a “moderate” trail, the 2.9 mile trek to the trail’s destination, Hawksbill Crag, was much more difficult than I anticipated. My heavy backpack carrying my DLSR, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses didn’t help as we slowly traversed over rugged, steep and rocky terrain to reach the crag. Thankfully, someone was kind enough to leave a sturdy walking stick at the trail entrance; something I truly appreciated and desperately needed on our hike. The experience was certainly humbling, and once we reached our destination – I was awestruck.
A pull-back image showing the enormity of the crag.
Incredible views over the valley along our hike to Hawksbill Crag.
Sunrise over Lost Valley.
Our final sunrise as we prepared to return home.
On our last morning, we were greeted by a sweet houndog, happy to eat our leftover turkey and swiss sandwich materials. Also pictured above (right), our micro-cabin.